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 Post subject: Sterilization; the procedure
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:06 pm 
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Tofu Pup

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Posts: 11
So... I have been thinking on posting a topic like this for ages, and you ppk'ers are so cool and helpful.


I really want to hear from people who had a sterilization, or know about it, the surgical one, both the one where the tubes are blocked with clips etc., or where they are cut/burned(?).

I am really freaked out with having foreign object blocking my tubes (REALLY freaked out) so I've always thought the burning/cutting/whatever-they-do-that-wont-leave-a-foreign-object was the way to go for me. But I really want to hear about both methods, because I want to make the best decision for me.
Are there more side effects with one of the methods? (not talking failure/pregnancy rate, or the succes-rate for getting a reversal, I'm only thinking about side effects like... pain, unexplained stuff, weird things happening and the like).

Speaking of side effects/risks, I know everywhere it says something like there are no side effects (unless something goes wrong or infection, of course).
But is is really that easy? I hope it is! But when something is like "totally safe, dont worry!" I immediately get suspisious, you know?


Oh, and I'm only thinking about the surgical procedure itself. I know all the great options for birth control including Essure, and everything, and male sterilization and all that... and I know some places you might need to get approved/find a doctor who is willing, and all that kind of stuff.
I just want to know about the procedure, 'cause if I end up in a relationship with somebody who has sperm, and I'm the best candidate for the procedure, then it's on my to-do list! And I like to be prepared.


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 Post subject: Re: Sterilization; the procedure
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Tofu Pup
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Hiya! I'm just going to post the journal entry I made the day after my (tie and fry) surgery. I figure the day after is when I was the most honest about recovery/discomfort. It really wasn't bad at all for me. :) AND(!) I'm STILL giddy about my surgery and still consider it the best money I ever spent.

"Everything went swimmingly! My needle phobia kicked in hard and heavy on the IV insertion (in my hand, ow!) I of course started to cry so they went and got M and A to distract me while they put it in. Getting smooches from my sweetie certainly helped me pay less attention to the needle! It was sort of funny, though, before they put the IV in, the anesthesiologist came in, introduced himself, and asked me right away "don't like needles?" Heh. Nope! Was it the crying that tipped him off?

That was definitely the worst part for me. I'm such a baby!

Surgery took a little over an hour, I think (I had no concept of time, lalala) and I woke up pretty quickly with no vomiting or even nausea. I hurt a little bit, but two tylenol with codeine fixed me right up. All the docs and nurses said it went really well, no complications, and they were all surprised at how well and quickly I bounced back from the anesthesia. Hooray. I felt just sleepy, not sick or groggy or scared. So, I must have NOT gotten my dad's bad reaction, after all. Yeahness!

I'm sore today in the upper incision. It's in(?) my belly button so that's the one getting tugged when I move. Getting out of my TALL bed to pee every 15 darn minutes (I'm guessing from alll the fluids in the IV) is a pain! The worst part of the recoup, painwise, is how sore my throat is from the breathing tube. The meds take good care of any real incision or stomach acheys, the throat was SO bad yesterday but is already much better today!

I was warned about possible horrible shoulder and upper diaphragm pain a few hours after due to the gas they put in my abdomen pushing upward. A little bit sore on one shoulder, but nothing as horrible as it could have been. I was told "you may feel like you're having a heart attack or really bad heartburn... it's just the gas and there's not anything you can do about it." I'm relieved that I missed out on that one!

So, things are going well. You know its a small incision when they've got them covered with bandaids!

Thanks for the well-wishes, you guys!
I'm glad it's over but it really wasn't bad at all. I'd do it again if I had to, even the darn IV stick. ;)"

The rest of the recovery was also not bad. I took a week off work because I could. Haha. Getting in and out of bed pulled the incision and was uncomfy, but not painful. I had a hugenormous bruise near the upper incision that took a while to go away. Incisions healed beautifully, one is basically invisible (lower one on my pelvic bone area) and the belly button one is very small and not in any way awful looking. You barely notice it. I love it, though. It's my YAY, no babies ever!! scar. :)

I'm a HUGE wuss about pain (part of the reason why I had the knock-me-out version rather than Essure... the test to make sure you're blocked plus the whole being only twilight sedated thing = NO. No thank you, sir.) and I did just fine with this surgery. I haven't had a single complication. DON'T Google for horror stories. It is a bad bad idea! Find a doc you trust (I went through Planned Parenthood) and ask them all the questions you need to to feel good about it. I know there are loads of ladies talking about post tubal syndrome online. PTS might exist but most think it's not due to the tubal, but rather the age of the women having problems. Most have them post-partum after already having some kids and being nearer to menopause. I had my tubal at 27, nullipara. It's been almost four years now. No issues at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Sterilization; the procedure
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:50 pm 
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have you heard about RISUG / vasalgel? they've been studying it in indian men for the past 15 years, and it's doing really well! (they call it RISUG over there) and parsemus foundation has been trying really hard to get it approved in america under the name vasalgel.

they tried to get the gates foundation to give them a grant, but they only want to support female procedures. (i think they're trying to figure out how to use it in females. that'd be amazing if it was able to be put in both males and females. always good to double up.)

anyway... they punch a teeeeny tiny hole in the scrotum and then inject the substance that adheres to the walls of the vas and makes the tube opposite in polarity to sperm. (so when sperm goes through the tube, they're essentially torn apart, and can't enter an egg.) one single set of injections lasts for at least 10 years (as you see, the dudes in india have been rocking it for longer than that) and is easily reversible with another injection.

both essure and vasectomy have drawbacks, but because vasalgel allows stuff to pass easily, there is no pressure buildup, and it's as if there's nothing there.

they're estimating human trials to begin within the year, and then i don't know how much longer after that for widespread distribution.
they have a really active facebook group if you're interested. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2258949611/

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 Post subject: Re: Sterilization; the procedure
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:55 am 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:25 am
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Thank you so much for sharing your experience, weeona! I have never been operated or anything, so it's very scary to think about hospitals and stuff, and stories like your's make it seem less scary. And nice to hear the pain was not-so-bad.
Oh yes, and you reminded me of something I forgot in my first post, the incision in the navel.


I have a navel piercing, so I'm a little concerned about it. Obviously I have to take it out, where in the navel is the cut made? And how long does it take to heal, is it like a week or a month?
I'm a little concerned about losing my piercing, but it's a small sacrifice that I'm very willing to make, so it's not a problem, I just would like to prepare myself for the idea, in case my piercing close up for good (I have had other stuff re-pierced and that didn't go to well, so I'm not sure that I would get my navel re-pierced, I would probably just retire it then).


The RISUG/vasalgel sounds very interesting, thanks for telling about that, it will go on my list of possible future options. And as sterilization is not something I need right now, then maybe the RISUG will be avaliable if I end up in a relationship where we need birth control.
And if it get's avaliable to females as well, then maybe it's easier to get cause it's reversible. If I need surgical sterilization in the next few years, I will have to "apply for it" or something (some rules/laws where I live).


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 Post subject: Re: Sterilization; the procedure
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:41 am 
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viewtopic.php?p=398774

Many of our stories are in that thread!

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 Post subject: Re: Sterilization; the procedure
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:36 am 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow

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I had the Essure, but I also had another procedure (removal of Bartholin's gland cyst) at the same time that required more sedation than I think the Essure alone would. The doctor said that there is always the possibility that once they get in there they won't be able to insert the coils (I guess because of the individual woman's anatomy), so we decided if that happened that she would do the laparoscopic tubal ligation, which would require general anesthesia. That was what I was most afraid of and fortunately it didn't happen! I was really scared of the sedation too, but it ended up not being that bad. I don't care about the needles but I am super scared of drugs. They started an IV and when it was time to get on the operating table it just felt like I had had a couple of drinks, which is not an unfamiliar feeling, so I was reassured at that point and then I was pretty much out of it and didn't feel anything the whole time. And no cramping after, or any other side effects. I felt fine and not druggy at all when I left the hospital, which was pretty much right after the procedure. I think they made me stay for half an hour or something, but that's it. Then in 3 months I had to go back for the test to make sure it worked. That was really easy - I just had to lie on the table like getting a gyno exam, and they used something that either I didn't see or don't remember (so not scary) to inject dye through my cervix, and then I got to see on the x-ray that the dye was blocked from getting through the tubes! That was way cool. (I love medical stuff) And it was only the same level of discomfort as getting a pap smear, which for me is no big deal.

When I was discussing my options with the doctor, she was strongly in favor of Essure over surgical tubal ligation, just because the tubal is an invasive procedure so you have more risks that go along with that - infection, freak weirdnesses from general anesthesia, etc., plus recovery from surgery. But you might decide that all of that is worth it if you don't have to have foreign objects left inside you. Good luck with your decision!

Oh, just to add for no reason - I was fortunate to not have to talk anyone into sterilizing me! No hassles at all. My primary care doctor referred me to the doctor who ended up performing it, and she said "So, you're sure you have the right number of kids?" and I said "Yep - zero is the perfect number!" and that was it! I was 37, though, so maybe everyone thought I was old enough that I actually knew what I was doing.


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 Post subject: Re: Sterilization; the procedure
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:22 pm 
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Dr. Apricot wrote:
http://forum.theppk.com/viewtopic.php?p=398774

Many of our stories are in that thread!



Looking back at that thread, I realize I never came back and updated.

scandinaveggie, I actually had two procedures: Essure on my right side, and traditional tubal ligation on the left. That's because of a quirk in my anatomy that wouldn't allow them to place the Essure coil in the left tube. Anyway, comparing both procedures, they both have their pros and cons. I described my experience with Essure on the thread that Dr. Apricot linked to. Because I was awake, it was a more painful procedure than the traditional ligation, but the recovery time was shorter. But, you don't know for at least three months if it's taken effect, and the confirmation procedure can be really unpleasant for some people.

With the laparoscopic tubal ligation, it was less painful (because I was fully under) but I had a longer recovery time. (They suggested a week of taking it easy, and luckily I had some time off of work.) That said, there were no complications and everything healed nicely, and the nice thing is, it's effective immediately.The method they used here was to block off my tube with a clip. (I'm not sure what it's made of, but I think it might be surgical grade silicone.) In any case, I have no regrets about either procedure, although if I'd have known that my anatomy didn't allow for the Essure on one side, I'd have chosen to go for the surgical procedure on both sides just to get it done all at once.

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 Post subject: Re: Sterilization; the procedure
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:29 am 
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Thought I would add to this for anyone else who is curious about other people's experiences. I had the Essure procedure done yesterday. The procedure went really well and only took 20 minutes but hurt sooo bad (I only had 10mg Percocet and an injection of Toradol, no sedation). I'm okay now...just crampy and bloated feeling. My insurance is (so far) covering the entire cost, so all I had was a copay.

I'll update or add more if anyone has any questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Sterilization; the procedure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:33 pm 
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I'm thinking about getting essure. Husband has been saying he'll get sterilized at some point so I don't have to, but I really want to have total control over my body and make sure I'll never get pregnant. I've been reading about all the controversy around essure lately and now I'm not feeling so confident. Also, even though I know 100% I don't want to be pregnant ever, I'm still kind of freaked out by an irreversible procedure. Did anyone else feel that way? If I didn't have so much pain with my iud, I would probably stick with that, but I can't deal with the almost daily cramping.

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 Post subject: Re: Sterilization; the procedure
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:49 am 
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What is the controversy over Essure? I didn't do any research on it before I had it done, and I don't think I've read anything about it since (5 years ago).

I did not get freaked out at the thought of an irreversible procedure. I was actually kind of the opposite: glad to have the irreversible procedure so I would never have to make a decision about pregnancy. I couldn't be more happy that I did it!


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 Post subject: Re: Sterilization; the procedure
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:28 am 
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Dave the Cat, apparently a number of women have had problems after the procedure and Erin Brockovich is now spearheading a campaign against it.

I don't know what to think about it. I mean, I feel for the women who have had bad experiences, but every medical procedure comes with risks, and all I keep reading is that "hundreds" of women have had problems. That has to be a miniscule percentage of the women who have undergone the procedure, although I haven't seen any actual numbers. From what I read when I was researching the options, standard tubal ligation is also not risk free. Neither are IUDs. I know women who have experienced severe pain and scarring from IUDs, but for the vast majority of women, they are safe and effective. So, yeah, I kind of feel like the controversy surrounding Essure had been sensationalized because of its relative newness as a procedure and by Brockovich's involvement.

Couroupita, as I mentioned above, I've actually had both Essure and standard tubal ligation, and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. If I'd have known then what I know now, I probably would have chosen for standard TL on both sides, just to get it done and over with at once. But I have had 0 problems on the side with the Essure, so I have no complaints in that respect! (If anything, I have more cramping on the TL side, but I'm pretty sure that has more to do with the fibroid tumor pinching my tube than with the procedure.)

And although I was 100% certain I never wanted kids, I was also a bit freaked out by the thought of an irreversible procedure. Especially in the week leading up to the procedure, I went through these emotional ups and downs. Like it felt like I was locking a door that I knew I never wanted to go through, but it still felt really permanent. But I knew I wanted to do it, and since the procedure, I have not had a single regret!

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Ain't no guarantees in life, and nothing that comes out of my vagina can change that. - Erika Soyf*cker

I'd rather have a cupcake and a matte stomach. - Desdemona


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